Monday, February 4, 2013

Whisky-Sriracha Candy





































Makes 12-14 1X1-inch candies
Time: under 30 minutes

After reading this article on Bon Appétit several months ago, I was excited to order a few sriracha lollipops from ThinkGeek, but then read the ingredients and thought—I can just make these myself. I would just need a basic hard candy recipe like this, and then some type of extract or flavoring to compliment and enhance the sriracha flavor. 

After deciding that hot cinnamon extract would be the perfect flavor, I discovered after looking at two separate stores that this ingredient either doesn't exist or is only available online. The only other extracts I had at home were almond and vanilla, so I unscrewed each tiny bottle in one hand with the sriracha bottle in the other hand. After a deep inhale, it was clear that both extracts were completely wrong for this. I then looked through my refrigerator and cabinets, which offered no other options, then strolled into our dining room and saw it ... whisky! I placed both the sriracha and whisky bottles under my nose and inhaled, then smiled. This was it.

This was my first stab at making hard candy, but I found it to be pretty simple. I did expect a hard and glassy result, but these candies are more melty and crumbly, with a texture similar to after-dinner mints. I'm not sure if I did anything wrong, or the whisky or sriracha interfered with the hardening, but I really liked them. They ironically ended up having a flavor very similar to
red hot cinnamon candies—only more intense, and with a little more darkness and depth.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water
1/8 cup corn syrup
1 TB sriracha

1 TB whisky
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional-it will give the candies a glassier appearance)
cooking spray, for the mold

METHOD
Grease a silicone mold with a little bit of cooking spray or coconut oil. (I used a mold similar to this that I found at IKEA several years ago for a dollar.) Wipe out any extra oil with a paper towel. 

Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir with a silicone spatula to combine, then heat over medium high heat. 


Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and insert the thermometer into the mixture, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the pan. 

Watch carefully until it registers at 300 degrees. Remove it from the heat immediately.

Mix the sriracha, whisky and cream of tartar (optional) together in a small bowl. Then pour into the heated mixture with a silicon spatula slowly—it will steam and bubble immediately. Once it stops, pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup, then slowly pour the mixture into the compartments, filling them 3/4 full. You have to work very quickly during this step, as  the mixture starts to gum up really fast—the first of the 14 compartments I filled hardened very well, while the last two I poured did not. 

Allow the candies to fully harden before removing from the mold. Dust with a little powdered sugar on top if you want. Store in an airtight container.

To get the stuck-on reside out of your pot and measuring cup, just soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes, then wash as usual.



48 comments:

  1. I think you just combined two of my favorite things into one!

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  2. is it awkward and weird, my professing love to you? :) probably less so than if my Jason were to do so - he will proclaim you a genius when I make these for him, though - he is a whiskey AND sriracha aficionado (we have had those sriracha pops...)

    thanks for this - I cannot wait to try!

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    1. Oh my goodness, no -- thank you so much! As a long-time spabettie fan, this has totally made my day ... I hope you and Jason enjoy!! : )

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  3. wow this looks amazing! so cute with the hearts and i bet it tastes unique and amazing!

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  4. This is just a genius recipe! I have really been enjoying your creativity in the kitchen.

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  5. Thank you vicky for your kind words!

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  6. Incredible. Never would have put these two together but it just seems so right. And they're adorable!

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  7. Wow! This sounds like one of the best things ever! I'm going to have to get my hands on some corn syrup and make these. Sriracha plus whiskey.. I'm in love!

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  8. this is insane erin.. if i make this.. i might have to keep making this for hubs. for hubb's work team and probably his entire office!!

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  9. cute for a Valentine's day treat:)

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  10. Hi, I’m wondering if we might be able to run this recipe and a photo on honeycolony.com in the next week in our Valentine’s Week series. We’ll of course back link back to you and this post, give photo credit and all. Looks so good, would love to share with our readership too!

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    1. Hi Elisa,

      Sure that would be great, thank you!

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  11. Yes! But, is there any ingredient that could sub out the corn syrup? If so, I am in love <3

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    1. Yes, there are some subs/methods for making corn-syrupless candy available. I've never tried it, but it seems like it could work:

      http://www.ehow.com/how_7712706_make-hard-candy-corn-syrup.html

      http://www.ochef.com/256.htm

      good luck!

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  12. Wow!! I'm no stranger to spicy candy. Growing up in Mexico my favorite candies were the sweet and spicy ones. This is a must try for me. Thanks so much for sharing it. Your photos are lovely!

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  13. How long did it take the candies to harden?

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    1. They are ready to come out of the mold once they are completely cooled ... I didn't time it, but would assume 30 minutes or so?

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  14. That sounds like an awesome, unique recipe!!!!


    ♡ rika, vegan miam
    www.veganmiam.com
    ★ i travel + i eat vegan blog ★

    ♡ My Recent Post: Vegan Cuts Snack Box February 2013, http://lnk.co/KTYS2 ♡

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  15. This is AWESOME! Imagine if you would have used Fireball Whiskey? Then it would be that hot cinnamon you were looking for AND booze! Tremendous!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jackie! I have never heard of fireball whiskey, but now I'm intrigued!

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  16. Any tips on getting the hardened candy out of my glass measuring cup? I ran hot water in it immediately after I finished pouring the candies out, but it seems to have taken a liking to the sides of the measuring cup and now won't come out!!

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    Replies
    1. The same thing happened to me. I just ran hot water into the glass and let it sit for a while. Then, after a little scrub, it came right out. Same thing with the pan and utensils.

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  17. hey there-- the easiest way to get candy remnants out of your measuring cup/saucepan is to fill them with water and boil them for 5 minutes or so. That's what we do at work to get the sugar out of our pots.

    Gorgeous candies, what a great flavor combination! I would guess that they didn't harden because of some component in the sriracha... that's why we usually use extracts or concentrated flavors. I could ask around at work though, if you're really interested in making a "glass" hard candy with the same flavor profile...

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    1. Sara, that would be great, thank you! I did like the texture of these -- kind of after-dinner mint like, but a glassier version would be interesting!

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  18. I would suspect that the whiskey is what caused the candies to not become glass like. Homemade ice cream recipes often call for a splash of spirits to prevent the sugar from crystalizing, for example. Either way, can't wait to make these! Well done.

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    1. Interesting theory! I hope you enjoy the candies -- the texture is still still nice here.

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  19. Mine turned out very glass like! I don't know how to add a picture on here but if I can figure it out, I'll show you all :)

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    1. I'm so excited you made them! If you have a moment, I would love to see a photo: email erinwyso (at) olivesfordinner (dot) com -- thanks!

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  20. This recipe is brilliant! I'm addicted to Siracha and I'll reproduce it as soon as possible

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  21. Made some for my husband for Valentine's.
    Here's a picture: http://www.prettylittlenest.com/2013/02/random-thoughts-valentines-edition.html

    Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to play around with other flavors : )

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    1. Christina -- looks beautiful! Thanks for trying it out!

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  22. sounds very interesting combination, i like to tray my hand on it..
    can you pour in a try then when it cools down you can use a cutter

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    1. Arlette, no, that won't work here. You'll need a silicone tray for this to work properly. Good luck!

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  23. A quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar might help you get a glassier texture. I also usually use more water and corn syrup, though I suppose that doesn't matter overmuch. Also, I've used whiskey before, it doesn't seem to hurt the glassiness. It may have been the sriracha, but I don't know for sure. I have used hot pepper in many forms to no ill effect.

    That said, I love making hard candy like this. I have about half a dozen different molds, and I do everything from fruits to this type of strangeness to mixed drinks and more. It's wonderful to play with, and I'm going to try this one out for myself.

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    1. Thank you, Riva! I will try that next time I make a batch, and I hope you enjoy this combo!

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  24. I've made these twice now with two different results in texture. The first batch came out as described in the original post: like after dinner mints (and somewhat opaque). The second time, I added about 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt. To me, flavors always shine more if fat, sugar and salt are involved. Since it seemed over the top to add fat and given that sugar was already an ingredient, salt seemed the obvious choice. Something interesting happened: the sugar mixture boiled more vigorously and the final result was less opaque. The texture a cross between Jolly Rancher and Milk Dud - good for long lastingness (Jolly Rancher) but don't try to chew because it'll stick to lock your teeth together (Milk Dud). The powdered sugar coating worked for both batches.
    Overall, I love this candy and will probably never buy cinnamon discs again. This is far superior.

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    1. Damn Jennifer, I like the way you think! I'll make another batch with a little salt and see if I get the same results -- thanks for trying the recipe out!

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  25. I made these last night & although they taste great the texture is not as described. Mine are more chewy or gummy. I followed the directions exactly. What could have gone wrong?

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    1. Sunner, this was my first time ever making hard candy, so I'm no expert, but I suspect that the temperature did not get up to 300 degrees. Perhaps the thermometer was touching the bottom of the pan, and you got a false read or it somehow malfunctioned?

      Also, if you don't pour it immediately into the mold, the texture can also get a bit weird.

      If you give it another go, good luck!

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  26. have anyone tried to replace corn syrup here with anything else? Maybe some other kind of syrup (maple?) or molasses (blackstrap or pomergranate)? Corn syrup is not that popular here in Poland, where I live :) and on the other hand - I think it might be quite interesting to use another flavor too.

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  27. What kind of whisky/ey did you use? The recipe sounds amazing, but I don't want to waste good stuff if its not the right kind :)

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  28. I used Edradour, a bottle that my husband picked up in Scotland. But I really think any kind of whisky will work here, only a small amount is needed. I hope you enjoy!

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  29. I tried these last night. I love sriracha (and all hot sauces) and my boyfriend is a fan of whisky, so I thought this would be a cute Valentine's day treat. I didn't get an after-dinner mint texture, and mine looked more glassy (without adding cream of tartar). Mine were more like a slightly gummier jolly rancher texture. Still good though. I may play around with the proportions of sriracha and whisky since I felt the sriracha overpowered the whisky flavor a bit. I also have a cinnamon flavored whisky that I want to try in it. Overall, a fun and fairly easy treat. Thanks!

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    1. Glad you liked! The best thing about these is you can calibrate the flavors to your liking. I made a batch of these recently and got a completely different texture even though I used a thermometer, so candy-making can definitely be fidgety. Cinnamon-flavored whisky sounds good for this!

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